A friend sent me a link to the Tropic Lightning Blog which asked for people's opinions about the public schools in Hawaii. Because this is a local military blog, all respondents have personally dealt with the Hawaiian school system. Here is a sample of the comments:
"We tried...honestly tried to deal with the Public School system. Regardless, one of my children will end up going to a private school next year...at a cost of over $10K for the year it is extreme, which impacts the families which must "endure" the paradise which we all inhabit."
"I hate to leave this beautiful island but for the sake of my children I am so blessed to go. God help those who are stuck in Hawaiian schools."
"My experience with private school is that we are paying premium prices for average results. The homework loads are high, but the actual classroom teaching and emphasis is low. However, the alternative option of public school is unacceptable."
"Our 5 year stint on this island is over.... and we are about 60K "poorer" because - after doing our time in public school we ended up enrolling our children in privat school... $ 60,000.-- that could have gone to my children's college funds instead... Quality time with the family was cut to zero, flying home to see Grandparents was a no-no, all in the name of education, simply because we run out of available funds."
"My children attend Solomon Elementary School on Schofield. They've recently taken a placement test for a school on Colorado and will both have to repeat their current grade."
I wish some homeschoolers had gotten to respond on this forum before it was closed to new comments. I'm amazed at the people who still think their only choice is public school or private school. I understand why people feel they are not "qualified" to teach their children - it's been drilled into them that a "real" teacher has to have a degree in how to teach a specific subject and no one person could possibly know enough to teach every subject.
Well, I occasionally snoop around some "real" teacher message boards and I see many teachers discussing how much of their time is spent on crowd control, passing out papers, taking up papers, getting the students to stand in line, or finding busywork for the students to do. I've heard one teacher say, "I mainly teach students how to be bored quietly."
One of the most telling signs is the number of former school teachers I know who now homeschool their own children. They've been in the system. They've seen how it works. And they want better for their own kids.